Closed Bug 776998 Opened 12 years ago Closed 12 years ago

[gcli] Behavior when part of a command is entered is unhelpful


(DevTools :: Console, defect, P2)



(Not tracked)

Firefox 18


(Reporter: ianbicking, Unassigned)



(Whiteboard: [gclicommands])

I was looking for the first time at the Developer Toolbar, tried to explore it and found it a bit difficult to discover the functionality.

One issue is that if I enter "help" I get a list of top-level commands, but I expected to be able to use those top level commands (instead really each one requires further help in order to use it).  For instance, if I enter "console" then nothing happens, and hitting Enter is ignored – no error, help, or anything at all.  Some of the commands (like inspect) do show a little bit of help.

In many cases I think there could be a default.  For instance, if you enter "console" you could treat that as "console open".  "cookie list" and "addon list" also make sense – and ideally you'd default to these *and* show the other commands available.  Kind of like git does.  Another approach would simply be to do something to indicate that more input is required.

Making "console help" etc work would also be helpful here – when I realize I've entered something I don't know how to use I now have to rewrite "console" into "help console".  Help could also be a default – if I enter "console" and hit enter, you could leave the text in the input box but also show help in a popup.
I agree, this is confusing.

"Return" should always do something. If the entry is not valid, it should say it's not valid.

Joe, what do you think?
Summary: [Developer Toolbar] Behavior when part of a command is entered is unhelpful → [gcli] Behavior when part of a command is entered is unhelpful
I agree ... there are a few things that we could do here.

1. Make help text more complete.
2. Each row under the help menu could be expandable, showing the command's help when expanded. This way you could navigate the help tree without typing multiple help commands.
3. Auto-completion should be improved e.g. typing console<space> should show clear, close and open.
4. Improve the default selections ... except where there are multiple possibilities, then number 5 makes more sense.
5. I really like the idea of having help as the default when a command is not complete so that typing console and pressing enter would display the info for "help console" without changing the input text.
6. After clicking on help, e.g. "help console" in the help dialog, it should not be necessary to press enter.

What do you think Joe?
Whiteboard: [gclicommands]
We've done several of the things mentioned here. I think we need to take a look after 17 to see what else we need to do then raise separate bugs for additional work.
Component: Developer Tools → Developer Tools: Console
Priority: -- → P2
Target Milestone: --- → Firefox 18
A number of these issues are fixed in various other bugs and I've just raised bug 785844 to focus on the default command idea.
I'd like to focus on things that are concrete so I think we should close this now (it's not all FIXED but some of it is) and work on smaller bugs.
Thanks for the report.
Closed: 12 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
Product: Firefox → DevTools
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